I've been watching as much of the convention as the ruling party in my house will let me. I missed part of Zell Miller's speech, but, fortunately, it is available on the web. The part that I thought particularly pointed:

John Kerry, who says he doesn’t like outsourcing, wants to outsource our national security.

That’s the most dangerous outsourcing of all. This politician wants to be leader of the free world.

Free for how long?

3:19 am, 9/3/2004

I'm watching my grand-daughter watch Sponge Bob on DVD. She swallowed an anti-arthritis cream yesterday, and spent most of the day in the hospital. Then, she went to bed early.

Now, she wants to socialize.

I also went to bed early. It wasn't my intention. I went straight up after dinner, planning to watch convention coverage on the TV, since most of the house perferred Anything-But-Politics-From-Republicans. But as soon as I lay back on my fluffy pillows, pulled the sheet snug around my neck, and settled in for some political meat, I fell fast asleep. So, I've been surfing, picking up on the text from web sources. It's really not the same.

It would have been nice to have GW's speech be a slam-dunk. But, that's not GW. He is an earnest speaker, but not a great communicator (even without the capitalization). I don't think that's a problem. He still comes across as straightforward and sincere.

What I'm really looking forward to is watching the polls over the next few weeks. I don't anticipate any huge gain, just steady attrition of Kerry's numbers. My feeling is that pollsters aren't getting many people to commit. I no longer answer phone polls, perferring to maintain my privacy. I don't think I'm unique. And I suspect that reserved individuals, concerned about privacy issues, are commoner in the Bush supporters.

My family doesn't quite know what to make of me. I always supported the Democratic nominee, joining in when the rest of them heaped scorn on the Republicans. Watching polical coverage with the rest of the family was our Autumn sport, right alongside with cheering the Cleveland Browns on to victory (or disappointed hopes).

Then, gradually, I changed. I can't say, like Zell Miller, that I stayed the same. No, I think my evolution resulted, in part, from my shift from mainstream news. Once I converted over from passive acceptance of pre-digested politics, I found that my views mirrored the conservative thinking more and more. Gradually, I realized that I was probably going to vote for Bush.

I tried. I watched the Democratic convention from post-dinner to ending coverage. I sat in a room full of teachers, who cheered every speaker. I sat, and listened.

And wasn't impressed. I had been cool to neutral about Kerry (and also Edwards and Dean) all year. Nothing he said changed my mind about him. He is polished, and slick, as is his VP nominee. He is also wordy and meandering. And, nuanced, a word I'm beginning to hate, as it seems to be a synonym for 2-faced.

I began to feel disconnected from all my peers. Which, it turns out, I am. I don't hang around in conservative circles. I am a teacher, which means that all day, I am surrounded by teachers. Those teachers are overwhelmingly liberal. My family is also rock-solid liberal, with the exception of one renagade Rush Limbaugh fan. At family get-togethers, the motto is, don't stir Mike up, it isn't worth it.


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